Brian Vierra, Economic Development of Central Oregon new’s Venture Catalyst, officially started his new gig today. And
unfortunately lucky for him, he answered our late afternoon call to see how things were going. Vierra’s job entails overseeing the annual Bend Venture Conference and the monthly Central Oregon PubTalk series, as well as helping local entrepreneurs grow their businesses and connect with resources. “It’s surprising how much is going on here,” Vierra says. “I’ve been impressed at how dynamic the entrepreneurial ecosystem is here, how much support there is and how much is happening. It makes Bend so much more than just a great place to mountain bike or ski.” Brian says his first order of business is prepping for BVC, followed by getting a handle on all the resources available here for entrepreneurs. Vierra moved here two years ago from Singapore. His entrepreneurial chops include founding two companies in Vietnam. He started Embers Asia Ltd., a consulting firm that provided corporate training services to multinational corporations, governments and schools. It sold in 2008. His second company, Phat Tire Ventures, is an adventure sports outfitter that is now the largest of company of its kind in Vietnam. Vierra is still a Director at Phat Tire. He plans to wind down his role there over the next year, while remaining an owner. From the EDCO news release:
“We are very excited about Brian, who brings personal credibility to the position as a business founder and angel investor. He expressed a sincere interest in helping young companies prosper,” said Chris Kraybill, a local technologist and entrepreneur who served on the volunteer hiring panel for the position. Vierra is a relatively new resident to Central Oregon, relocating here with his wife and two children two and a half years ago from Singapore. During that time, he has quickly plugged into Oregon’s startup scene as an active investor in Portland-based Oregon Angel Fund and the newly formed Cascade Angels, which was established in Bend earlier this year.
And a bit more:
“We were impressed with Brian’s experience, humility, and mindset of continual learning that typifies work in economic development,” said Roger Lee, EDCO Executive Director. “We think he is going to be a great fit for the organization and helpful in establishing Bend and Central Oregon as a top 10 national destination for entrepreneurs.”
You can reach Kelly by email at [email protected].